It’s the end of January.  If you started working on a healthy lifestyle change on the first of the month, chances are that the shiny newness has worn off and it’s beginning to be a bit more difficult.  This weekend on Super Bowl Sunday, party tables everywhere will hold all sorts of snack foods, most of the unhealthy variety.  Some of the most popular (and most irresistible, in my opinion) are dips.  Usually creamy, melty, cheesy dips.  And yeah, they can be soooo good.  However, they are also one of the easiest ways to consume a lot of fat and calories at a pretty rapid rate.

Rather than toss aside all your efforts so far, consider this kale pesto white bean dip as an alternative.  A snack you can feel good about.  It’s creamy and fresh, chock full of vitamins and low in fat.  Serve with pita chips or fresh veggies and you may just find this nearly as addictive as all those other dips, but with a lot less guilt afterward.  Our whole family loves this and it’s sure to make many appearances at our kitchen table.

  • Yield about 3 cups


2 cloves garlic
¼ cup walnuts
1½ cups kale leaves, stemmed and chopped
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups cannellini beans, drained (2 15 oz. cans)
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar


  • 01

    In the bowl of a food processor, combine the garlic, walnuts and kale.  Pulse until finely chopped.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  With the processor running, add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice in a steady stream through the feed tube until smooth.  Add in the Parmesan, salt, and pepper and pulse until combined.

  • 02

    Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the beans, the remaining 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and the balsamic vinegar.  Process the mixture until completely smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed.  If necessary, pulse in additional olive oil to achieve a smooth texture.  (I did not need additional oil.)  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and top with a sprinkle of chopped walnuts.  Serve with pita chips, fresh veggies, etc.